By moderate I’m referring to things like the car battery being dead on the day you have an interview and the jumper cables are in your husband’s truck and he’s out of cell range and your neighbors have already gone to work and you accidentally locked yourself out of the house where your phone sits in the dock charging and your dream job is heading for the gutter along with the rain that wasn’t forecasted or you would have worn less strappy shoes and grabbed an umbrella along with your commuter mug with the lid that just decided to spring a leak and baptize your pale silk blouse in dramatic hues of espresso.
We’ve had those nothing goes right days but we just keep going…most of the time.
What I want to talk about are the attacks that knock the wind out of you, knock your feet out from under you and leave you a bit disoriented and feeling ambushed. The pressure won’t let up. It’s marriages. It’s health. It’s depression. It’s finances. It’s self-doubt and insecurity. It’s relentless and it’s loud. It presses in and it presses down.
You pray. You rebuke. You search the scriptures. You journal. You dialogue. You compare notes. You pull in your friends. You buy books. You up your worship. You hunker down. You buy more books. You see a counselor. You get on meds.
We try to fix it. And in our app-driven world we think there should be a ready solution at our thumb-tips.
I’m in the trenches. And so are many of you.
The fiery darts keep coming, the bombs keep exploding and we’ve been manning the guns and our counter attack–and we’re tired. It’s much bigger than our actions can influence, our muscle can manage or our minds can reason.
But Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 13:16:
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
Sometimes we just have to stand in it, even when we don’t think we can stand it anymore. But dear friend, we don’t stand in it–that mess, that storm, that cluster of circumstances that makes you feel like a rag doll in the jaws of a pitbull.
We stand in faith. And we stand FIRM.
We remind ourselves of who He is and who’s we are. The writer of Hebrews suggested we do some remembering as well. (Chpt.10)
32Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.j Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
You have need for endurance!
I’m afraid I’ve become intolerant of inconvenience. I live in a world where just about everything is at my fingertips, literally. I want Amazon to agree with me about what overnight means. I want my wifi service to provide uninterrupted service at breakneck speeds. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to pull into a latte stand and be on my way with a perfect brew in less than 5 minutes. And don’t you agree, Walmart should have a line for shoppers who aren’t utilizing the ad-match guarantee?
Please don’t misunderstand me.
Like fit soldiers we are required to fight our enemy. But there is a time to stay put, stand guard and wait for orders from our Commander.
And sometimes God just wants to fight our battles for us.
“Now stand here and see the great thing the LORD is about to do.” 1 Sam 12:16